Blog: BMW vibes
Dave Leggett | 18 March 2008
I'm in the media centre at the BMW annual accounts conference, at the BMW Welt in Munich. It is an impressive building to say the least - think of it as a kind of BMW brand theme park. Lavish. Some 200 people a day pick their new BMW cars up here, on a raised platform, and drive them out.
What is everyone talking about? Seimens had a particularly bad day at the races yesterday and there are some jitters about concerning financial markets. How bad will things get and how will markets for real goods - like BMW cars - be impacted? How far will cost cuts have to go?
Over dinner last night, I met the new sales and marketing board member - Ian Robertson, who has been promoted to that role from Rolls Royce (effectively, first non-German to rise to such heights within the company). He made the point that consumer sentiment is key going forward. Even if people can afford new cars they will tend to hold off if they are feeling uncertain about the future or bad about things.
Actually, the conversation veered to his experience with BMW in South Africa and that was an unexpected bonus in the fascination department. The man is passionate about the place and it's problems - HIV in particular. It's a big problem in SA and he had some interesting views on it.
I am still playing around with YouTube and below is a scan shot in the Welt auditorium where the press conference was held. It gives you an idea of the scale of the venue. The board members suddenly appeared without warning. I think they were raised through trapdoors in the floor.
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